WHAT IS SWARA SAMPADA ?
Swara Sampada believes in positivity, encouragement and empathatic mentoring. Read below
to understand how it is done.
Swara Sampada is an organization of families from diverse backgrounds having one thing
in common: the love of quality music and the desire to sing it. Most of them have earlier not sung on stage, or if they have,
could not continue due to various obstacles. Swara Sampada provides them a platform to start their singing, or restart
it, as the case maybe.
Swara Sampada provides an atmosphere of positive vibrations amongst
its members wherein the positive is accented upon, while helping the individual overcome his musical faults and personality
shortcomings, so that he can legitimately graduate to become a quality singer in his own right.
What is special about this experiment?
Swara sampada is a unique musical experiment because it seeks to convert bathroom
singers into living room singers, and living room singers into stage singers. Usually a student of music learns diligently
from a guru, does his riyaz, seeks to present his talent to audiences and get their appreciation. Swara
sampada believes that while this is allright, only a few very talented, or very persistent, become quality singers this
way. The rest either give up, or become appreciative audiences for the talented few. While this suits the talented few very
well, and appears to suit the rest too, Swara sampada believes this is at the cost of one’s own musical development.
The basic premise
Music, and singing, may not be as difficult as they are made out to be. If
there is persistence, an atmosphere of sincere appreciation, and a fellowship of likeminded individuals wanting to rekindle
their desire to learn music, almost everyone can sing, or at least become good appreciators of quality music.
Doubts vanish over the years
When this experiment was launched, a number of well-intentioned doubted whether
it could ever happen, for it seemed to go against most established canons of music. Two years of patient experimentation seem
to prove the original premise right: that singing is possible for most, if not everyone, provided the atmosphere is right,
and the musical soul is awakened.
How did it all come about? Positivity and Encouragement
Swara sampada has flowered under the benign guidance of its President and other Office
Bearers, who work tirelessly to see this dream become a reality. The spirit of comraderie and bonhomie amongst its members
has to be seen to be believed. The magic of Swara sampada lies in the feeling of musical accomplishment which a member
experiences not only when he masters a song, but when his co-member does the same. For Swara sampadites are generous
with their applause and reluctant with their disapprovals.
This experiment now appears to have succeeded with a performance on the big
stage by Swara Sampadites on 16 February, 2005. This fiftieth performance comes into being after forty-nine medium level performances
before audiences numbering 60-150.
Swara Sampada Monthly Meets
The Swara sampada monthly meets are marathon learning sessions starting
from 9.30 am and going on till 6.30-7 pm, and few abstain, or leave early.
The President himself conducts these marathon learning sessions without leaving
the stage even once, and the Group Leaders do likewise. Before coming on stage, each singer is informed atleast a month in
advance the theme of the next Swara Sampada meet for which he starts preparing in right earnest. The singers meet
for their rehearsals before the monthly musical meets, which are marathon 8-10 hours sessions under the direct supervision
of the President assisted by the Group Leaders.
Each month two Swara Sampadites are chosen as star singers for the
next programme and they present a selection of five well rehearsed songs before the group.
Swara Sampada has also conducted the Shining Stars Programmes called
Aaj Ke Sitare for the last six months, in which earlier stars get a chance to present a medium level stage show before
an audience of 140-160. These Aaj Ke Sitare programmes have been very much appreciated by listeners, and boosted
the confidence of the singers. These singers are now ripe to present themselves on the big stage.
What are the monthly meets based on?
May we also add here a word on the themes of the Monthly Musical Meets of
Swara sampada. They are based on the compositions of one/two great music directors/lyricists/composers/singers, and
all Swara Sampadites prepare songs given/sung by that master. In this manner, they have dealt with Music Directors
like Naushad, Khayyam, S.D.Burman, R.D.Burman, Shanker Jaikishen, O.P.Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Jaidev,
Anil Biswas, Roshan, Ravi, A.R. Rahman, Shanker-Ehsaan-Loy; Lyricists like Majrooh Sultanpuri, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shakeel Badayuni,
Sahir Ludhianvi; and institutions like Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh. They have also had special programmes on Lata Mangeshkar,
Asha Bhonsale, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, and have a yearly programme on Mohd. Rafi.
The concept of empathetic mentoring
The president, office bearers and others believe in and practice what the founder president
calls 'empathetic mentoring'. This means, rather than think of what is perfect or absolutely correct, it is essential to understand
what is the present level of a singer, and guide him/her to better it all the time, with a goal in front. This mentoring must
be very empathetic, that is, putting oneself in the shoes of the potential singer. A harsh remark, or advice, even with the
best of intentions, can hurt the fragile psyche of an upcoming singer and make him lose heart and confidence, never to sing
again. It is necessary that any corrections be carried out understanding the present ability and application of the performer.
And keep bettering it in an atmosphere of appreciation and encouragement to achieve more and more. All the time accentuating
what is special in the singer undergoing such mentoring.
A mentor is a very caring and sensitive individual, who understands and gently and patiently
guides the potential singer to explore the depths of singing, and widen the horizins of his/her abilities over a period of
time. No harsh or negative remarks are to be used, nor comparisons, nor rejection. Mistakes are to be pointed out, but very
gently, and never in jest, and only so the singer understands what is to be done, and gets encouraged to remedy it, at his
own pace. All the time encouraging him/ her to increse this pace, and his/her reach.
A vast repertoire
Thus, besides the joy of singing, each Swara sampadite now has a
vast collection of songs he can confidently present on stage, besides of course the knowledge that goes along with this learning.
2nd Birthday, 2995
This second birthday, in February 2005, is actually the first birthday celebration of Swara
Sampada. The first was not celebrated on purpose. During that time the Swara sampadites were busy honing
their talents and working hard to develop the ability to present their singing expertise, and so it wasn’t time to celebrate
still. Now the time has come, when, after the hard work of two solid years, and the blessings of gurus, Swara Sampadites
can present their talent on the big stage.
They seek God’s grace, and your good wishes and company, in this journey.
A final word
One last word. They could sing. So can you. Only stop being too critical
of your ability, and start a group like Swara Sampada. If you need guidance, we will help you convert your dream
Dr. Ajai R.Singh
President, Swara Sampada
16th Feb, 2005.
[Swara Sampada has celebrated every annual day since and has grown from strength
to strength. New chapters are being formed all over India and also soon abroad (ones in Toronto and Houston in the offing).]